How Immersing Yourself in Nature Can Strengthen Your Marriage

As an independent introvert, it’s extremely important for me to find alone time so that I can process my thoughts and feelings. However, I’ve found that too much alone time and solitude can also be a bad thing, especially when it comes to my marriage.

It’s easy for me to let my thoughts run wild as I work through real and imaginary problems, often making them worse by internalizing them. Therefore, while alone time is great and rejuvenating, you’re going to have a tough time being in a functional marriage if you and your spouse can’t find an activity that you both love where you can discuss whatever is on your mind at the time.

Don’t get me wrong. Date and Netflix and chill nights are fun and important, but they really aren’t the right time to have life-changing conversations. For this to happen, you need to be doing something where your mind is free to process everything that’s being said but focused enough that it stays in the moment.

For some couples, the best “talking time” is on long car rides or while sharing brews at a local coffee shop. However, hiking trails are where my wife and I have some of our most important and groundbreaking conversations. From deciding when to start having kids to where we want to live to why it’s time to cut back and save money, we talk about anything and everything on our hikes.

We don’t always have to talk about life-changing events, either. We also break down how each of our days went, what we want to do later in the evening, and vent about our problems. Essentially, anything that’s on our collective minds comes out while we’re hiking, and we then work through it.

When I was thinking about writing this article, I asked my wife why exactly it is that we have so many great talks while we’re hiking. As per usual, her insight was far superior to my own, and here are some of the reasons she thought of.

We Both Love It

Every couple should have something that they love to do together, and for us, that thing is hiking. In fact, it’s how we first fell in love and got to know each other. We were hanging out as friends at the time, but after a couple of hikes in the mountains of South Carolina, we realized we had a ton in common. We ended up getting married a few years later, and we’ve been hiking together ever since.

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The fact that hiking was part of the foundation of our relationship is certainly one reason it’s so important to us, but it’s far from the only reason. The point, however, is that whatever it is that brings you and your partner together can become the basis of your deep conversations. Whether that’s hiking or another activity, it really doesn’t matter as long as you both enjoy it and enjoy doing it together.

No Distractions

The second reason that hiking is such a good outlet for deep conversations is because there aren’t any distractions. You’re out in nature, away from your cell phones, TV screens, social media, and any other things that might distract you. Your only companions are the trees, wild animals, and clear blue skies.

Most people, myself included, don’t realize how much time is wasted mindlessly scrolling on phones or watching TV shows. While TV, social media, and video games aren’t all bad, it’s tough to have a real conversation when you’re distracted by them.

It’s sad, but sometimes the only way to get away from screens is to get into nature, where they aren’t even an option. Once we’re there and there’s nothing that can distract us, the floodgates open, and conversation flows in a way that it can’t if one or both of us have our minds on something else.

Mutual Engagement and a Common Goal

Being on a hiking trail is different than other forms of downtime, even when it’s spent together. Sharing a cup of coffee at a coffee shop or walking together on the beach definitely counts as quality time, but it’s not the same as going for a hike. You see, when you’re on the trail, you and your partner have a common goal in mind that requires mutual engagement – to get to the end of the trail.

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It’s the type of goal you can strive towards together but isn’t so distracting that you can’t talk along the way. Sharing this common goal will encourage you to work together to meet it, which often translates to other life goals and desires. Having to stay focused on a goal also keeps you engaged and present, which is essential if you want to have a meaningful conversation.

Fresh Air Equals Fresh Thoughts

On a more scientific level, the fresh air of nature does incredible things for the brain. You’ll instantly feel rejuvenated, refreshed, and reinvigorated when you’re in nature, thanks to the fresh air and atmosphere you’re immersed in. Fresh air helps you think more clearly so that you can listen and communicate effectively. That way, you can help your partner work through whatever is bothering or consuming them.

It’s a Calming Experience

Finally, a good hiking trail is almost like a religious experience for us. Nature has a way of calming our minds and spirits in a way that no other activity can. It’s also a safe space where you know that anything you say will stay between you, your spouse, and the woods, which makes it easier to open up.

This is especially true for me because I’m a person who tends to keep my guard up, even with my wife. When I’m in nature, though, it’s like a truth serum, and I can’t help but talk about everything that’s on my mind.

How It Translates

We all know that honesty and communication are two of the most important keys to any successful relationship, especially marriage. Because nature and hiking allow us to do both of these things, there’s no doubt in my mind that it’s one of the foundational pillars of our relationship.

How Immersing Yourself in Nature Can Strengthen Your Marriage

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Hiking and being in nature is a great way to connect with your significant other, and here’s why.

Hiking and being in nature is a great way to connect with your significant other, and here’s why.

About Author
Jalin Coblentz Author BeFun BeKind
Jalin

Jalin is a full time writer who enjoys writing about his own journey being a dad, husband, and someone deeply passionate about his work. His authenticity in what it means to be a stay at home Dad shines through in his story as he seeks to inspire other men to not only run after their dreams, but to do so in a way that is supporting and uplifting to the people most important in your life.

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